back to article Mission critical computing for the masses

The provisioning highly-available IT service, once the sole province of large enterprises, is today available to everyone. Consider the ftServer line from Stratus. These servers contain numerous redundant components, are equipped with dozens of sensors and are shipped with “uptime assurance” software monitored by Stratus as a …


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  1. the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

    Critical thinking needed

    I read this and couldn't help but think of far too many freshly qualified noobs I've met over the years - usually the type who have just done some industry cert and now know all there is to know.

    This is new! Therefore it's better! And all our problems will be solved!

    There's never any reference to whether a) there was a real-world problem in the first place b) if there was then this this actually solves it and c) even if the first two conditions are met, whether the benefits are worth the costs of adoption. This whole article suffers from that same lack of critical analysis.

    So yes, thank you for reminding us of some of the more significant develpments of the last 15 years, but without any additional context this is little more than a list of management-speak buzzwords.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


      I have never - honestly, not once in my life - believed something was "better" because it was new. I viciously and vociferously mock people who equate "new" with automatically "better." So I will take your comment in stride and try to do better next time.

      As you pointed out, the article really was largely aimed at “reminding folks of some of the more significant developments of the last 15 years.” This article was never really meant to be a standalone: it is part of a series of interrelated articles. It is possible you have not read my previous articles on the topic that do go into far more depth on many of the issues you raised. Here are links:

      As to “was there a problem in the first place,” well...yes! The problem is the same as it has always been: how to most efficiently deliver IT services. There isn’t “one true answer” to that problem; cloudy services are just one more tool in the toolbox. Neither innately good nor bad for their recent appearance; cloud computing must be viewed with the same sceptical eye we would use when analysing any technology.

  2. Mage Silver badge


    Stratus approach is so Pre 1990s.

    First we had VAX Cluster.

    Then in 1999 I think Cluster with 2 x NT servers sharing at least two external storage shelves on separate 2 x SCSI bus (3 was better performance)

    kill power randomly on one Server or one Storage shelf and no interruption of service. A cheap commodity server with single PSU is fine.

    Obviously each shelf and server needs it's own PSU and separate UPS. But no server or shelf level expensive on board redundancy.

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